Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I checked in with one of my Cuban home boys to see what it was like in Miami after the news of Castro's surgery. The Miami Herald was webcasting from the Cafe Versailles, a totally happening place on Calle Ocho, showing all the partying and jubilation from the Cuban community. If there is one thing I know, those Cubans know how to party. My friend reported the Coast Guard was starting to patrol more heavily in anticipation of armadas going both ways to and from the island. This is when the old "wet foot/dry foot" immigration policy will get very interesting. In case you don't know, there is a special immigration policy for Cubans leaving Cuba. If they can get to land, having a "dry foot", they will immediately be eligible to live here. If they get caught offshore with a "wet foot" they will be sent back to Cuba.
My views about Cuba have changed radically over the years after hanging out with my Cuban home boys. I went to go work on the Anita Bryant part 3 campaign a few years back with my friends, Jorge Mursuli and Jorge Diaz. We were the gay Latinos fighting back against the homobigots. I adore these two men and have exchanged many a laugh with them. But they are also two of the smartest guys and they have educated me about their community and the realities of having parents who will never see their Cuban home again. Jorge Diaz' father died a few years ago and he talked about it today that his father never got to go home. Also, Fidel locked his father up in prison for years so there are some serious hard feelings.
OK why am I talking about Cuba and the Cubans in Miami? I have spent a fair amount of time there, love my friends there and am intrigued with the idea that Fidel may be dead now. What happens next? There are a lot more smarter people than I are publishing articles but definitely check out the Miami papers to see that perspective. Just remember that Cuba is only 90 miles away from the Key West. It wouldn't be the first time boat loads of people ended up here quickly and wouldn't that change the immigration debate in a hurry?